Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aunt Leona's Spoonbread

This post, which originally appeared on my Peevish Pen blog, on June 24, 2007, isn't about one of the Naces—it's about an in-law. Leona Ruble was my grandmother's sister-in-law. She must have given her spoonbread recipe to my grandmother, who passed it to my mother. (Aunt Leona was born on March 17, 1889. My mother was born on March 17, 1913.)

When I was a kid, my great aunt Leona Ruble Davy and her husband (she called him Buddy, but his real name was Howard Kress Davy) would drive from their New Castle home to visit us around Easter. She usually brought me a fruit-and-nut chocolate-covered egg. Sometimes it had my name in icing on it.

Supposedly, Leona—one of the daughters of G. William Ruble and Margie Caldwell Ruble of Craig County—was known for the beautiful clothes she sewed. My mother said Aunt Leona once came to visit with a whole trunkful of clothes she'd made herself. She also had red hair.

Aunt Leona never had any kids. She died in 1970; I remember driving my brand new 1967 Firebird from Roanoke to New Castle
 to take my mother to visit Aunt Leona, who was up in years.

Here's her recipe:

Leona's Spoonbread
1 cup boiling water
one-half cup corn meal
1 tablespoon butter
one-half cup sweet milk
one and a half teaspoons baking powder
one-half teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well-beaten

Pour one cup boiling water over one-half cup corn meal. Beat in 1 Tbs. butter, one-half cup milk, one and a half tsp. baking powder, a half teaspoon of salt, and 2 beaten eggs. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake until set. This would be at 400 degrees for 20 or 30 minutes in a modern stove. Serve hot with butter.

I'm not much of a cook, but I've made this spoonbread before and it's wonderful.

I wonder how much more wonderful it would be baked in a wood stove?
Update: Leona Frances Ruble Davy (1889-1970) is buried in the Huffman Memorial Cemetery in Craig County. Her mother is listed as "Margie Logan Caldwell Ruble" in Leona's information, but she was actually Margie Odell Caldwell Ruble. Her husband (1893-1968) is also buried there.

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